Top 10 Spot Removal Cards in Commander

Continuing the "Top Ten" list theme from my previous post, I've decided to explore spot removal in multi-player commander and attempt to put together a best of list for cards that fall into this category.   As before this top ten is for cards otherwise in a vacuum and doesn't take into account potential synergies that might benefit specific decks.  The goal is to create a short list of spells that can fit into almost any deck and be effective, provided they fall into the Commander's color identity.

10) Return to Dust

     Does a very nice job of nuking one or two or your opponents best artifacts or enchantments and making sure they never come back.   The cost is a bit steep, but you can pinpoint remove exactly what you don't want on the table, and flexibly use this during a main phase or an end step depending on what is necessary.   With apologies to Hull Breach, this one has an edge because although it costs more mana, the color requirement is easier to achieve and the targets are exiled instead of destroyed.

9) Decimate
    This is one of those borderline cards that I debated on whether it's really "spot" removal and rather falls into the mass removal category.  I stuck with the former term since it does target and only removes one of each category.   This spell is a bit clunky in that it "must" have 4 valid targets to actually cast and also has an obtuse casting cost and color requirements.   Despite all this in multi-player the 4 valid target dependency is easy to satisfy, which makes this sorcery an absolute monster.  Demolishing a Maze of Ith, Future Sight, Consecrated Sphinx and Sword of Light and Shadow for 4 mana is outstanding.  

8) Capsize

     I have a hard time not putting this at the top of my list for every blue deck I create.  It is incredibly versatile and once you ramp up fast enough becomes a recurring disaster for your opponents.   The cost is steep, but even then it can be cast for only three mana in a dire emergency.    Blue doesn't have many quality removal options and boomerang is pretty good.  In a format where mana is often plentiful capsize tops out at amazing.

7) Swords to Plowshares

    Sometimes you just have to appreciate the originals.   Plow has been exiling problem creatures since the 20th century and it still stands up just fine in Commander.   It's cheap and efficient, it is an instant, and the drawback is negligible, especially in a format where starting life totals are doubled.   If there is one downside to the plow is that it specifically targets creatures, but creatures are pretty common, so it's not going to sit in your hand unused for long.

6) Beast Within

    Pretty amazing unrestricted permanent removal in a color which usually doesn't have such options.  It's one of the few cards in green that can deal with creatures and it does it at instant speed for only three mana.   It also deals with artifacts, enchantments, lands and planeswalkers and in a pinch is an amusing combat trick when your forest transforms into a beast to eat an incoming attacker.  Yeah it leaves a token lying around, but when you're playing in a format with giant dragons and menacing Eldrazi, giving your enemies a 3/3 beast seems like a suitable trade off.

5) Bant Charm

     This card is incredibly under-rated and does a wide array of things in a format where versatility is king.   Demolish an artifact, tuck a general away into an opponent's deck, or counter an instant spell.   It's pretty amazing for only 3 mana.  The drawback is that you have to be playing Bant colors, so it's not applicable to a lot of decks, but if you are in this color combination and you're not playing this card you're simply doing it wrong.

4) Oblation

     This card isn't really a secret any longer since it was published in the commander pre-con decks, but it was under-appreciated during Onslaught's legality in standard and now is a top choice in most commander decks running white.    As a common refrain:  It is versatile.  It removes just about anything, including problematic planeswalkers and tucks the target away, allowing you to avoid recursion tricks or a general you simply don't want to come back.  In a multi-player format the 2 extra cards you give an opponent stings less.  In an emergency feel free to tuck away your Sol Ring when it's no longer exciting and simply draw two yourself.

3) Maelstrom Pulse

    The second clause on this card is less interesting in a singleton format, but it still can pay dividends against multiple opponents running the same problematic permanent.  It's also gratifying using it to nuke an army of saproling tokens without harming your own permanents.   The only drawback is that it can't touch lands, and that it requires an odd color combination to play.  If you have forests and swamps in your deck though, it's usually an auto-include.

2) Chaos Warp

    Another permanent removal tool that scores big in the versatility department.  It's also one of the few red cards that can actually deal with enchantments which makes it highly valuable in mono-red, Rakdos, and even Izzet or Grixis decks.     The drawback is likely to only hurt you at worst 30% of the time.   Often you're giving your opponent a land instead of the threat you wasted.   Tucks generals as well.   Just like Oblation, feel free to use this on your own card that's about to die anyway and hope for something useful.

1) Vindicate

     This card is at the top of the list because it has absolutely zero drawbacks.  If you're playing the colors it's hands down the best spot removal option in Commander, creature or otherwise.   It kills anything you need it to, including lands, and your opponent gets nothing in return.   It is unfortunately a sorcery, but for three mana it's hard to complain about this kind of efficiency.

Apologies to: Oblivion Ring, Condemn, Dreadbore, Hull Breach

Top 10 Counterspells in Commander

     I thought I'd put together a "top cards" commander series based on my experiences with my weekly playgroup.   We've put some thought into this, and time and again when I'm playing blue I tend to reach for the same counterspells over and over.   This list is a bi-product of those deck creation sessions.  Note most of my decks in the blue color identity don't contain all of these, because I often simply don't have the room, and this list doesn't include some situational counterspells that might be amazing in a specific deck but generally are unplayable in most others.  If I'm making a blue deck, these are always considered in the permission slot, and usually in the order I have listed.

10) Desertion

Not only can you counter a spell but you get to steal a powerful permanent. I pity the player who has their Mindslaver stolen in this fashion. More importantly, this card allows you to steal enemy generals, keeping them out of your opponent's control and also out of the commander zone. If this card cost less colorless mana, it would probably be at the top of the list.

9) Forbid

One of the challenges in Commander is being able to deal with a large number of threats in a multiplayer environment, this is compounded when playing a permission battle. Forbid allows you to cheat this by countering multiple threats with the same card. The cost is steep, but in decks that like to jettison things into their graveyard anyway, this card is a natural choice, particularly when you have a reanimate in your hand. At worst this card is a cancel with options, which is a heck of a lot better than cancel.

8) Muddle the Mixture

At face value this is a crummier version of vanilla counterspell, but it can counter powerful game breaking effects like Wrath of God, Armageddon or Insurrection for two blue mana while also serving as a tutor when the time is right. Tutoring up Lightining Greaves or Scroll Rack in a deck full of islands is nice. A fabricate that can backup as a counterspell should be appreciated. It can't counter creatures, which is notable, but doesn't make it not worth strong consideration in your blue deck.

7) Force of Will

The only real drawback to the Force is that using it to its potential costs you a card in a meta-game where tempo is often less vital than card advantage. It's also notable the card you pitch must be blue making it harder to take advantage of the more colors you have in your deck. Force is the best permission card in Legacy, but in Commander it has to settle for being just really good.

6) Pact of Negation

A potent spell that allows you to push through that game winning combo or back-breaking Time Stretch certainly deserves to be on this list. The only problem with the pact is it lacks viability early in the game, unless of course you plan on never relinquishing your turn to begin with.

5) Voidslime

Our lone multi-color counterspell on this list, it offers choices at a reasonable cost which pushes it into the top tier. It not only stops problem spells from resolving, but it also can serve as a stifle when needed.  Voidslime stops un-fun cards like Tormod's Crypt, Bojuka Bog, Sun Titan or Eldrazi annihilator triggers from fulfilling their potential.

4) Cryptic Command

The Swiss Army Knife of counterspells. Versatility is crucial in commander and this card offers plenty of choices. It is a Dismiss, Boomerang and Sleep all bundled into a single card. It's prohibitive cmc of 4 and triple blue casting requirement cost makes it difficult to play in 3+ color decks, and prevents it from being higher on the list.

3) Spell Crumple

WOTC was prescient enough to understand that tuck is one of the most devastating effects in Commander, so they included this card in the Commander Pre-Constructed decks. It doesn't disappoint and for only 3 mana and the ability to banish any commander or spell into an opponent's deck, this is one of the most powerful counterspells in the format.

2) Hinder

A Spell Crumple with some negligible options. It offers a memory lapse effect if desired and more importantly, unlike spell crumple, goes to your graveyard instead of your deck, making it slightly easier to retrieve with stuff like Call to Mind.

1) Mana Drain

This is premium spell for commander, both in power level and price.  It's inexpensive to cast and can swing a game in your favor dramatically with the mana boost.  Follow this up with a timely Rite of Replication or Time Stretch and crush everyone else at the table.

Apologies to:  Counterspell, Spelljack, Foil

Commander: Wort, Boggart Auntie

My most recent playgroup really enjoys playing Commander so I've been putting my constructed focus into that lately. I purchased the pre-constructed decks and have tinkered with them a bit. But rather and just build from those, I really wanted to try something with a bit more style. It doesn't hurt to have a closet full of old cards to keep costs down. I read over some of the forums on various blogs and liked the idea of a Wort, Boggart Auntie deck with an army of goblins. I was a fan of Goblin Bidding and Gob-Vantage back in the day. A Commander goblin deck re-hashes those themes and allows for some powerful vintage cards to boot. A weekend poring over old cards and some singles orders yielded a pretty solid deck that is a lot of fun to play.

Here is the current version:

General (1)

Wort, Boggart Auntie

Creatures (35)

Skirk Prospector
Goblin Welder
Goblin Chirurgeon
Skirk Drill Sergeant
Goblin Tinkerer
Goblin Piledriver
Mogg War Marshal
Goblin Recruiter
Weirding Shaman
Frogtosser Banneret
Mogg Maniac
Goblin Warchief
Mad Auntie
Goblin Ruinblaster
Goblin Sharpshooter
Goblin King
Gempalm Incinerator
Sensation Gorger
Taurean Mauler
Goblin Matron
Goblin Chieftain
Tuktuk Scrapper
Goblin Wizard
Goblin Ringleader
Squeaking Pie Grubfellows
Lightning Crafter
Skirk Fire Marshal
Siege-Gang Commander
Goblin Assassin
Earwig Squad
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Goblin Marshal

Equipment (2)

Basilisk Collar

Non Equipment Artifacts (9)

Tormod's Crypt
Aether Vial
Sol Ring
Expedition Map
Mind Stone
Rakdos Signet
Oblivion Stone
Nevinyrral's Disk
Coat of Arms

Tutors (4)

Vampiric Tutor
Diabolic Intent
Demonic Tutor

Enchantments (6)

Goblin Bombardment
Boggart Shenanigans
Dralnu's Crusade
Shared Animosity
Phyrexian Arena

Other Sorceries and Instants (9)

Nameless Inversion
Wheel of Fortune
Ambition's Cost
Syphon Mind
Living Death
Patriarch's Bidding

Land (34)

Maze of Ith
Wooded Foothills
Arid Mesa
Scalding Tarn
Bloodstained Mire
Blackcleave Cliffs
Blood Crypt
Rakdos Carnarium
Lavaclaw Reaches
Dragonskull Summit
Molten Slagheap
Auntie's Hovel
Graven Cairns
Sulfurous Springs
Shadowblood Ridge
Volrath's Stronghold
Ancient Tomb
Strip Mine
Goblin Burrows
Bojuka Bog
Vault of Whispers
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Barren Moor
Shinka, The Bloodsoaked Keep
Great Furnace
Forgotten Cave

It took me a while to cull my goblin collection to get to the right creatures for this deck, especially in a multi-player environment. Staples like Goblin Lackey or Mogg Fanatic were initially in earlier versions of the deck, but eventually replaced my Mogg's with a bit more staying power or utility. All of the gobbos in this deck either focus on card advantage or making other goblins more mana efficient or more powerful.

I chose a variety of utility spells to help achieve constant hand or board re-fills. This deck has 4 cheap tutors for anything needed, and a number of other means to grab goblins with the Recruiter, Moggcatcher and Matron. Cards like Wheel of Fortune allow for gratuitous card recovery after any kind of wipe. Ditto Living Death and Patriarch's Bidding.

Spot removal is generally inefficient in Commander but this deck allows for some exceptions to that. Terminate is so incredibly efficient I think it's worth playing. It sends most generals away for at least a turn or two and is particularly special when used on something exceptionally expensive. Tarfire and Nameless Inversion are nothing exciting, but become quite playable in a deck where they can be recruited, grabbed with a ringleader and recurred with Wort.

Naturally you'll see plenty of Commander staples in this deck as well. Tormod's Crypt, Maze of Ith and Sol Ring are all just as home here as any other Commander deck.

Because we're playing a relatively inflexible color combination I chose to use cards like Disk and Oblivion Stone for enchantment removal that otherwise couldn't be dealt with. Chaosphere is a nice answer to flying armies of which this deck has otherwise little defense against.

There are also a number of soft combos in this deck. Recurring Goblin Marshal's can be amusing with Wort, especially when a Coat of Arms or Shared Animosity is on the table. Skullclamp is a potent card drawing engine all by itself, especially when a number of tokens and generators are in play. Goblin Sharpshooter equipped with Basilisk Collar is Wrath of God for everyone else and the Kiki-Jiki, Lightning Crafter, Sacrifice combination can end the game instantly if you are allowed to go infinite with 3 points of damage per ping.

Whether I can over-run opponents with a swarm of goblins or combo out a well-timed bidding or Lightning Crafter, this deck has a lot of ways to win and do it explosively.

Playing: Bay Area Open Results and Army Lists

Reecius and crew pulled off an amazing event up in Northern California. The Bay Area Open fielded 75 40k players over 7 rounds of Swiss and produced some incredible highly competitive no holds barred 40k gaming.

Blogs around the internets are taking in the batreps. Table top war has a nice account here along with some pictures from the event. Galaxy in flames has their account here. The Ninja Hut batreps can be found here. Michael Oade discusses his 5th place finish with Blood Angels here. Eldritchstromer's report on his Dark Eldar is here.

Top 4 finisher lists are below. I'll post a full rundown of the standings later:

First Place

James Curry - Imperial Guard


Company Command Squad (Plasma x 4), OoF, Chimera HHF


Veteran Squad x10 (Plasma x 3), A.Cannon, Chimera, HHF
Veteran Squad x10 (Plasma x 3), A.Cannon, Chimera, HHF
Veteran Squad x10 (Melta x 3), 1x Shotgun, Demolitions, Chimera, HHF
Veteran Squad x10 (Melta x 3), 1 x Shotgun , Chimera, HHF
Veteran Squad x10 (Melta x 3), 1 x Shotgun , Chimera, HHF


Ratlings x 5

Fast Attack

Vendetta: H.Bolters
Vendetta: H.Bolters


Hydra x 2

Second Place

Nathan Whitacre - Orks


Ghazghkull Thraka
Big Mek w Kustom Forcefield


19 Slugga Boyz: Nob, Klaw, B.Pole
20 Slugga Boyz: Nob, Klaw, B.Pole
Grots x 12: Runtherd
Nobs x 8: 8xCybork and Eavy Armor, 2 Klaws, 2xBig Choppas, Painboy, WAAGH!! Banner, B.Pole x 3

Heavy Support

Battle Wagon: Red Paint, A.Plates, 2xB.Shoota, Boarding Plank
Battle Wagon: Red Paint, A.Plates, 2xB.Shoota, Boarding Plank
Battle Wagon: Red Paint, A.Plates, 2xB.Shoota

Fast Attack

Deff Kopta: Buzz Saw
Deff Kopta: Buzz Saw


Lootas x 13
Lootas x 5
Lootas x 5

Third Place

Alan Hernandez - Grey Knights


Librarian: Warding Stave, Hammerhand, Might, Quicksilver, Sanctuary, Shrouding


Paladins x 10: Sword x 3 (1 M.C.), Hammer x 2, Halbred x 4 (1 M.C.), Bro Banner, M.C. Psychannon x 3, P.Cannon x 1,
Strike Squad x 10: Psycannon x2, M.C. Sword

Fast Attack

Interceptors x 10: M.C.Daemonhammer x 1, Psycannon x2

Heavy Support

Psyfilemen Dread

Fourth Place

Christian Alessi - Grey Knights


Xenos Inquisitor: Rad Grenades, Psykotroke, Hammer Hand


Techmarine: Rad Grenades, Psykotroke, 3 x Servo Skull
Venerable Dread: Psyfilemen


Warrior x 3, Psyker x 5: M.Gun x 3, Chimera, Searchlight
Warrior x 3, Psyker x 5: M.Gun x 3, Chimera, Searchlight
Warrior x 3: M.Gun x 3, Chimera, Searchlight
Death Cults x 6, Crusader x 3, Crusader x 3: Chimera, Searchlight
Death Cults x 6, Crusader x 3, Crusader x 3: Chimera, Searchlight


Psyfilemen Dread
Psyfilemen Dread
Psyfilemen Dread

Final Standings

Place Name Points Record Army

1 Curry, James 7 7-0-0 Imperial Guard
2 Whitacre, Nathan 6 6-1-0 Orks
3 Hernandez, Allan 6 5-0-2 Grey Knights
4 Alessi, Christian 5.5 5-1-1 Grey Knights
5 Oade, Michael 5.5 4-1-2 Blood Angels
6 Bass, Michael 5 5-2-0 Dark Eldar
7 Joos, Levi 5 4-1-2 Orks
8 Sellers, Josh 5 5-2-0 Grey Knights
9 Houghtby, Julian 5 4-1-2 Tyranids
10 Regul, Jon 5 5-2-0 Orks
11 Kaminsky, Jeffrey 5 5-2-0 Chaos Space Marines
12 Jacobsen, Russel 5 4-1-2 Space Wolves
13 Adderson, Russ 5 5-2-0 Orks
14 Pace, Robert 5 4-1-2 Dark Eldar
15 Bousquet, Joshua 4.5 4-2-1 Blood Angels
16 Smith, Steven 4.5 3-1-3 Dark Eldar
17 Wilder, Benjamin 4.5 4-2-1 Chaos Space Marines
18 Danke, Gordy 4.5 4-2-1 Grey Knights
19 McKelvey, Paul 4.5 4-2-1 Tau
20 Gurule, Jason 4.5 4-2-1 Dark Angels
21 Epstein, Ehren 4.5 4-2-1 Dark Eldar
22 Villagrana, Joaquin 4 3-2-2 Grey Knights
23 Caballero, Pablo 4 4-3-0 Blood Angels
24 Miller, Douglas 4 4-3-0 Imperial Guard
25 Mclaughlin, Tom 4 3-2-2 Space Marines
26 Tangey, Michael 4 3-2-2 Dark Eldar
27 Ferrell, Peter 4 4-3-0 Imperial Guard
28 Brown, Kevin 4 4-3-0 Tyranids
29 Holt, Keith 4 4-3-0 Necrons
30 Glenboski, Doc 4 3-2-2 Imperial Guard
31 Entropo, Mike 4 3-2-2 Eldar
32 Loukides, Mathew 3.5 3-3-1 Blood Angels
33 Kingsley, Davis 3.5 3-3-1 Space Marines
34 Moore, Michael 3.5 3-3-1 Blood Angels
35 Steele, Casey 3.5 3-3-1 Blood Angels
36 Pierce, Charles 3.5 2-2-3 Blood Angels
37 Chadwik, Ian 3.5 3-3-1 Tyranids
38 Lemly, Jack 3.5 3-3-1 Tyranids
39 Webster, Scott 3.5 2-2-3 Space Wolves
40 Reeser, James 3.5 3-3-1 Imperial Guard
41 Bruch, Andrew 3.5 3-3-1 Dark Angels
42 Heater, Kenneth 3 3-4-0 Dark Eldar
43 Frazier, Xavier 3 3-4-0 Dark Eldar
44 Cotton, Alexander 3 2-3-2 Eldar
45 Nieuwenhuis, Daniel 3 2-3-2 Space Marines
46 Kirkendall, Nick 3 2-3-2 Imperial Guard
47 Gahner, Ian 3 3-4-0 Space Marines
48 Cornelius, Paul 3 3-4-0 Orks
49 Machado, Jon 3 2-3-2 Blood Angels
50 Jernigan, Kelly 2.5 2-4-1 Space Marines
51 Setchell, Pete 2.5 2-4-1 Tyranids
52 Scgwl, Scott 2.5 2-4-1 Dark Eldar
53 Hoover, Peter 2.5 2-4-1 Chaos Daemons
54 Weyermuller, John 2.5 2-4-1 Space Wolves
55 Hoover, Jason 2.5 2-4-1 Blood Angels
56 Kishimoto, Brian 2 1-4-2 Orks
57 Trammel, Timothy 2 2-5-0 Dark Angels
58 Doan, David 2 1-4-2 Blood Angels
59 Ruggiero, Phillip 2 2-5-0 Dark Eldar
60 Gordon, Thomas 2 2-5-0 Blood Angels
61 Bevard, Douglas 2 1-4-2 Dark Eldar
62 Key, David 2 2-5-0 Blood Angels
63 Jung, Joshua 1.5 0-4-3 Orks
64 Saraga, Dante 1.5 1-5-1 Eldar
65 Myers, Nick 1.5 1-5-1 Space Marines
66 Franklin, Carlos 1.5 1-5-1 Tau
67 Saraga, Chris 1 1-6-0 Grey Knights
68 Bredt, Adam 1 1-6-0 Tau

M12 Prerelease - Tournament Report

I decided to try my hand at the M12 prerelease last weekend. I haven't played in a sanctioned tournament in years and I haven't played in one this large, 60 people, in even longer.

Here was my full card pool:


Garruk's Companion
Stampeding Rhino
Lurking Crocodile
Arachnus Web
Titanic Growth
Stingerfling Spider
Greater Basilisk
Bountiful Harvest x2
Gladecover Scout
Doubling Chant


Crimson Mage
Grim Lavamancer
Volcanic Dragon
Bonebreaker Giant
Goblin War Paint
Lightning Elemental
Goblin Fireslinger x2
Goblin Arsonist
Stormblood Berserker
Lava Axe
Circle of Flame
Goblin Piker
Slaughter Cry
Tectonic Rift

Hideous visage
Devouring swarm
Drifting shade
Hideous visage
Child of night
Brink of disaster
Tormented soul
Bloodrage vampire
Blood seeker
Zombie goliath
Dark favor


Aegis Angel
Arbalest Elite
Archon of Justice
Armored Warhorse
Griffin Sentinel
Serra Angel
Gideon's Lawkeeper
Lifelink x2
Griffin rider
Guardian's pledge
Pride Guardian x2
Celestial purge
Stave off


Master Thief
Merfolk mesmerist x2
Jace's archivist
Aether Adept
Aven Fleetwing
Coral Merfolk x2
Harbor Serpent
Merfolk Looter
Sphinx of Uthuun
Skywinder Drake
Ice Cage
Mana Leak
Jace's erasure


Elixir of immortality
Scepter of empires
Wurm's tooth
Kite Shield

The pool had some powerful stuff but wasn't especially deep in any color. I took a long look at Overrun and Volcanic Dragon and tried to see if I could make green or red work somehow but decided that Green just wasn't deep enough. After Stingerfling Spider and the Rhino it fell off considerably. Red had Grim Lavamancer and a couple capable creatures but no real staples like shock or incinerate.

Black I dismissed right away. It had a Gravedigger and a Deathmark and little else. Blue and White stood out as the obvious choices after going through the other colors. I had tons of massive fliers, some nice permission and some utility spells. What I happened to lack were some combat tricks but blue/white doesn't have a lot of those anyway. I had an Unsummon and a stave off. I had to rely on Ice Cage instead of Pacifism. Blue also wasn't especially deep. After counting up the playable cards I was looking at coral merfolk and Harbor Serpent as maindeck options. I considered splashing red or green but didn't have any mana enablers to do this. I tend to get screwed when I try splashing a couple lands of an off-color without any kind of fetch or artifact fixing. So I stuck with blue/white and hoped my powerful creatures could outpace my lack of the ability to permanently remove things from play and I also hoped that my weak low curve could survive long enough to get into the 5-7 drop range.

Here is the deck I put together:


Aegis Angel
Arbalest Elite
Archon of Justice
Armored Warhorse
Griffin Sentinel
Serra Angel
Gideon's Lawkeeper

Aether Adept
Aven Fleetwing
Coral Merfolk x2
Harbor Serpent
Merfolk Looter
Sphinx of Uthuun
Skywinder Drake


Stave off
Ice Cage
Mana Leak


Kite Shield


9 Island
9 Plains

Notable Sideboard Cards

Master Thief
Pride Guardian x2
Celestial Purge

Master thief went back and forth from a maindeck choice to a sideboard choice but in the majority of games I started it in my sideboard. I'm not sure if this was the right choice but a figured a 2/2 flyer with no other notable abilities probably wasn't worth maindecking in an environment with few artifacts.

Round 1:

I sat down against a clearly capable player piloting a red/green beatdown deck. He was sporting Jade Mage and Goblin Fireslingers backed by some bloodthirst and beefy green creatures like Stampeding Rhino and Stingerfling Spider. The first game I sat on 3 islands and a plains for a while and stalled out holding a couple angels in my hand. I was pinged to death by Goblin Fireslingers. Game 2 I managed to get up to six mana to desperately summon an Aegis Angel only to see it plummeted. My Serra was likewise removed by Stingerfling Spider and I didn't have any answers to his pingers. I probably sideboarded wrong as I put in both pride guardians and then regretted it when both hit the table. They didn't help me as much as I initially thought they would.

Loss 0-2 (Match Record 0-1)

Round 2:

She is piloting a green/white beef deck with creatures as large as mine. Ideally I would be able to rush on the ground early and finish in the air because she doesn't have much of a mana curve but I start slowly and only get a couple merfolk hits in before she drops down an Archon of Justice and Double Vastwood Gorger. I manage to Ice cage the Archon, group block her gorgers and ride a Serra Angel to victory in the air after tempoing her gorgers with bounce spells.

Game 2 goes much worse as she boards in two plummets and blows up my Archon and Aegis Angel. I drop a Serra again but it's destroyed by a Stingerfling Spider and her beefy ground creatures finish me off. Game 3 goes almost as poorly as Game 2 for me. I see a plummet again and the spider comes down again as well taking out my Skywinder Drake. This time she enchants it with Spirit Mantle and stops my air attack completely. I still manage to stall out her creatures with enough of my own and Gideon's Lawkeeper. She plays a bit too timidly and misses some crucial attack phases and I manage to finally overwhelm her in the air with my Sphinx of Uthuun and additional card advantage from my looter and divination.

Win 2-1 (Match Record 1-1)

Round 3:

He's playing a Blue/Black deck with some decent removal and some large black creatures like Sengir Vampire and Drifting Shade. He also has a couple of Gravediggers. His creatures are otherwise small though and I'm able to take over the board with larger bodies. I manage to play some bounce tricks with Aether Adept and Unsummon and Ice Cage his Vampire before beating him with Aegis Angel. In Round 2 I have an easier time despite a deathmark to one of my Angels. I eventually get a Sphinx in play which he doom blades but draw into more creatures and eventually finish him off with an unblockable Harbor Serpent.

Win 2-0 (Match Record (2-1)

Round 4:

I'm up against yet another Green/White deck. This one doesn't have quite the beef I saw in round 2 but still has some quality creatures like a Lawkeeper and Stampeding Rhino. He is running double siege mastadon which I'm not too concerned about. He also drops an Aegis Angel and Stingerfling Spider (god that card is good against me) but I bounce his angel away and then mana leak his attempt to replay it. I am able to stave off his pacifism and then cancel his Garrukk before finishing him off with an Archon. In Game 2 he has a faster accelerated play with a first turn elf and gets the lawkeeper into play again. I don't see Garruk but he pacifies my early blockers and sends in the ground forces. I demystify his pacifism to try to stabilize but then he drops a Sun Titan to recur it and I scoop. Game 3 goes quickly as I curve up into my fliers and I don't see a lot of answers. I mana leak his attempts at removal and he never gets a chance to play his bombs and I ride my Angels to victory again.

Win 2-1 (Match Record 3-1)

Round 5:

He has a blue/white deck but with a much smaller mana curve with creatures like Stormfront Pegasus and Azure Mage backed by a couple of cancels and a mana leak. Despite getting a Azure Mage into play and drawing proably several cards with it I'm still able to outpace him because I have better board control and a merfolk looter. I eventually sneak a Serra Angel into play and he has nothing big enough to stop it in the air. Game 2 he opens with a turn 1 Elite Vanguard which eats away at my life total before slapping an Angelic Destiny on it knocking me down to 8. I respond with an Aether Adept and win a Counter War. I eventually get a Harbor Serpent into play and seal up the game.

Win 2-0 (Match Record 4-1)

Round 6:

He is playing a blue/red/white deck with equal parts of everything and manalith's to stabilize his mana base. We have a ground standoff in game one until he gets a lawkeeper down and starts tapping my threats. I make a major play error by announcing my attack phase, bouncing a bloodthirst ogre back to his had with my Aether Adept and then attempting to send in the team. He corrects me for skipping my attack phase and despondent I realize I probably gave away the game by missing out on at least 4 damage if not 6. I'm eventually outraced in life after he shocks my own lawkeeper off the board but I'm still in the game until he slaps down Jace and mills me to death over the next 2 turns. Game 2 goes better for me as I try to play around represented counters and realize later on I should have just cast my larger spells as early as possible. I stabilize from his early threats and dump an Aegis Angel into play followed by my Sphinx. I sit at only 5 life but swing into him for big damage in the air and figure I will finish him off a turn later with a lawkeeper keeping his biggest threat in check and only 4 possible represented damage on the table. However he top decks a Volcanic Dragon and slaps it into the battlefield. I can tap the dragon down with the lawkeeper but in doing so will take 5 combat damage from the rest of his creatures. I lose.

Loss 0-2 (Match Record 4-2)

That's the end of the tournament. I wasn't completely displeased with my record but was irritated with my play errors in Round 6. He was a very good player with a good deck but I felt that match was very winnable and my play errors likely cost me. Round 1 was more about a bad draw in game 1 and questionable sideboarding. I'm not sure if I would have recovered from that one even with perfect play though.

My winnings were only 3 packs for finishing with 12 points. I was 13th out of 60. For someone who hasn't played in a tournament in many years with a set I've never seen before I'll gladly take it.

Sprue Posse Open #8

The Sprue Posse presents the:


5th Edition Warhammer 40k Tournament

Saturday, May 21st, 10:30 AM

Hosted by

Aero Hobbies and Games

1500 Points

4 Rounds Swiss-System


Unpainted Models Allowed; WYSIWYG

Standard Missions from the 5th Edition Rulebook

To be announced on day of tournament

Prize Support for Best General

Prize Support for Best Painted

$12 entry fee!

Limited Seating!

Sign Up with Paypal

Please submit a typed army list to the tournament organizer on the day of the tournament.

*INAT FAQ is the independent national tournament FAQ located here:

Aero Hobbies and Games

2918 Santa Monica Boulevard #3
Santa Monica, CA 90404

(310) 828-5264

Questions? Please contact Kevin Nash

Playing: Tinkering with Witch Hunters again

I've been messing around with Army builder lately trying to put together a quality Witch-hunters list. With some back and forth about including inducted guard at the 1500 point level I've decided to finally drop the platoon in favor of less troop choices and putting the points into other aspects of the army.

My latest version originally had a cannoness and an inquisitor in the elite slot but after some deliberation I decided to drop them both in favor of an Inquisitor lord and then another celestians unit. I lose faith points this way and a book this way but make up list points in other areas. It allows for a more potent Inquisitor retinue with some neat tricks.

Inquisitor Witch Hunters - 1500


Inquisitor Lord (Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon, Psychic Hood)
w Retinue
Warrior (Plasma)
Warrior (Plasma)


Celesitans x 5 (Melta x2) w Immolator (Smoke)
Celesitans x 5 (Melta x2) w Immolator (Smoke)
Celesitans x 5 (Melta x2) w Immolator (Smoke)


Battle Sisters x 20 w Veteran (Book of St Lucius, Eviscerator) and Priest (Eviscerator)
Inquisitorial Storm Trooper x 5 (Plasma x2) w Rhino (Smoke)
Inquisitorial Storm Trooper x 5 (Plasma x2) w Rhino (Smoke)

Heavy Support

Immolator (Smoke)

The Inquisitor Retinue is min/maxed. The Sages increase the Inquisitor BS to 5 and makes everyone in the unit shoot as twin linked. This is a cool combo with the Plasma as I re-roll gets hot or any miss I choose. The inquisitor is also now WS 5 with a CC weapon giving him 4 cc attacks and 5 on the charge. I also like the psychic hood with LD 10. A big screw you to Null Zone and JAWW.

You'll notice the extra immolator in the heavy slot. This is how the HQ unit gets around.

In the troop slot I opted for a 20 count sister of battle death star with double embedded eviscerators. This unit is a cc force with Divine Guidance (any wound rolls that are sixes ignore armor) and then a nasty tarpit if the number are whittled down to use Spirit of the Martry (entire unit gains invuln saves equal to armor). Backing up this unit are a couple stormtrooper units in rhinos that we use to grab objectives.

The rest of the list is standard fare. Celestians are the best unit in the book and Immolators the best dedicated transport for them. We take 3 of each. Exorcists round out the heavy support slot.

I'll keep tabs on some games going forward and report some results.